Chinese Migrants Write Home

Chinese Migrants Write Home

A Dual-Language Anthology of Twentieth-Century Family Letters

Gregor Benton, Huimei Zhang, Hong Liu


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Qiaopi is the name given in Chinese to letters written home by Chinese migrants to accompany remittances, in the 150 years starting in the 1820s. Qiaopi had numerous functions and dimensions, ranging from economic and social to cultural and political. In June 2013, the Qiaopi Project was officially registered under UNESCO's 'Memory of the World' programme, set up in 1992 because of 'a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of documentary heritage' in the world.

This book presents around one hundred letters from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, the USA, and Canada, including photographic reproductions of the original letters, transcriptions in Chinese characters, and English translations, where necessary with explanatory notes. Most of the letters collected in Chinese and non-Chinese archives, and in this sourcebook, were products of the Qiaopi system as traditionally defined. A few, especially some to and from North America, especially in the second half of the twentieth century, went through the Post Office, and were not handled by Chinese remittance companies. Not all the letters accompanied remittances.

侨批是指海外华人移民通过民间渠道寄回侨乡,附带家书或简单留言的汇款。侨批涉及经济、社会、文化、政治等各方面的内容。 2013年,中国侨批档案成功入选《世界记忆名录》,成为人类共同的记忆遗产。本资料集收集了来自新加坡、中国、马来西亚、泰国、美国、加拿大等国家的100多封侨批与回批的原始文件副本,编者对这批资料进行了整理、转写、校对、翻译。这些原始资料不仅包括传统定义上的侨批(即侨汇和侨信),同时也包括了一些华人移民书信,有些是华人移民与中国国内亲人的往来书信,有些则是移居不同地区的华人移民之间的往来书信。

  • About the Editors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Reasons for Immigrating
  • Immigration Procedures
  • Migrants' Life Overseas
  • Migrant Dependants' Lives in China
  • Distribution of Remittances
  • Household Matters
  • Economic Issues and Politics
  • Education
  • Society
  • Family Values, New Ideas, and Advice to Family Members
  • Other Issues

Readership: Academics, professionals, policy-makers and students interested in Chinese emigrants studies. Chinese Emigrants;Family Letters;Qiaopi;Dual-Language Anthology0Key Features:
  • First dual-language sourcebook of Chinese migrants' family letters, with the letters in Chinese transcription and English translation and substantial annotation
  • Presents around one hundred Chinese letters from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, the USA, and Canada